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Pistorius could serve half of his sentence - law experts

Some law experts say Pistorius will have to serve at least half of his sentence to be eligible for parole.

Oscar Pistorius makes his way into the Pretoria High Court for sentencing. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Oscar Pistorius spent his first night back in prison after being handed a six-year jail term, which has been described by some legal experts as a "fair sentence".

Yesterday, Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down her sentence yesterday, having heard argument last month for a second time, after Pistorius' culpable homicide conviction was overturned to that of murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

When Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide, he only served 12 months of his five-year-term and there is now speculation as to how long he will have to wait this time before applying for parole or correctional supervision.

Advocate Mannie Witz says he will have to serve at least half of his six-year jail sentence.

"The normal procedure is that he has to do a minimum of 50 percent, according to the way Correctional Services work it out, you then become eligible for parole."

But lawyer Cliff Alexander says Pistorius could apply much sooner.

"I say anything between eight months to 10 months, the parole board would have to decide about it."

Pistorius' legal team has confirmed that he will not be appealing his sentence but the state has two weeks to indicate whether it will fight for a longer jail term.

At the same time, the Commission for Gender Equality says the six-year jail term handed to Oscar Pistorius will set a wrong precedent.

The commission's Javu Baloyi said that the sentence was far too light.

"This also will set a wrong precedent in society and it would be referred as a case in point going forward by those that will commit crimes such as this."

Judge Masipa appeared to take a sympathetic tone when she handed down sentence yesterday, particularly when she described Pistorius as a broken man and a fallen hero who was financially ruined.

WATCH: Pistorius handed six years for Steenkamp's murder

DEFENCE WON'T APPEAL

The convicted murderer's legal team also confirmed that they would not be appealing the sentence.

"Just from the defence team, we respect the decision by Judge Masipa and we will not be lodging any applications for leave to appeal going forward. Oscar will serve the sentence as handed down by Masipa," attorney Andrew Fawcett said.

ANCWL SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED WITH SENTENCE

The African National Congress Women's League said it was shocked and disappointed with the sentence.

The League's Jackie Mofokeng said the outcome is shameful.

"It's actually an insult to women [and] an insult to the Steenkamp family. It's worrying that when listening to the judge, when she talks about public opinion, [one asks oneself] 'if it were in other countries where they have a jury, what was she going say?'"

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